The Right to Love You

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I’m in love with a man that I have no right to love, but I can’t change the way that I feel. I’m legally separated and am getting divorced, and my husband & I are both (hopefully) moving on with our lives. The man that I love is married, and he is his wife’s caretaker. I know that she needs him, but it doesn’t make my love for him decrease. I’ve struggled this week with not being a “good” person; is it possible to be a good person, while having an affair?
If anyone had asked me that question ten years ago, I would have answered absolutely not! Unfortunately, the last five years has changed my opinion. I was a supportive wife, I even sacrificed what I knew was emotionally healthy in order to try and be supportive of my ex. Not only did I move to a town I swore I would never live in again, but I ended up down the street from my father, who was both physically and emotionally abusive as I grew up. My ex didn’t end up being happy with the job we moved here for, and took several different jobs over the last five years.
I spent the first three years after our move, trying to be encouraging. When my ex began to push all of us away (the kids & me), I got friends to babysit for the weekend, so that we could try and reconnect. Instead, we often ended up at a movie & then had obligatory sex, or sometimes just laid side by side reading. I would try & engage him in conversation, but it didn’t help. However, when I needed support and encouragement he wasn’t there. At one point, he tried to claim that he couldn’t pay attention when I spoke to him because he had dyslexia. Eventually, I sought attention elsewhere. I slept in the living room for over a year, before we finally got separate residences.
Now, I fast forward to the present & I’m very much in love. He makes me so happy, and I actually feel like I matter to him. He listens to and cares about the things that I have to say. He values my opinion, is supportive of me & cares about even the most mundane things in my life. Is it morally wrong for me to be with him? Is it wrong to love someone, even if they’re in a marriage that is no longer intimate? I no longer have an absolute answer to that question. I do know that even if I don’t have the right to love him, I do.

4 thoughts on “The Right to Love You

  1. This post is so heartbreaking. One would think that when you read about being in love it’s a happy post, but I think this should just serve as an example that love is not as cookie cutter as we try to make it. While I have no answer for if what you’re doing is wrong, which I don’t think it would be fair for anyone to answer that, I think (and it’s just a thought) that you should put the focus on yourself; making sure that you are completely healed from your marital relationship before stepping into another sorry to say “messy situation”. I say messy because if he is still married then ultimately he still has a choice to make, “you or his wife”. Are you emotionally strong enough to handle him choosing his wife? What if he chooses you and you find out that you’re only in love because he provided in the areas your husband did not? I do hope you find some clarity and most of all peace with this situation.

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    • I think your words are wise. I think first & foremost, he is my friend and no matter what happens, we will be friends. My ex and I are actually starting to be friends again, which is a good thing since we still have two teens to co-parent. I can’t say he feels the same as me, but I like him much more than when we were together ( at least at the end). I’ve actually been healing a lot because of the support that my Daddy has shown me. I really don’t think I would have made it through one of my best friend’s suicide without him. Honestly, I don’t want him to make any choice right now. There are extenuating circumstances with regards to his marriage, as he is her care taker. I would be sad if I lost him, but I would understand if he made that choice.

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